User Groups and You
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Question 
Hello!

This post is to introduce you to the various user groups in use on the Red Heron forums.  Depending on the role assigned, a member may have differing responsibilities and permissions.  Usernames appear on the site color-coded by the group to which each member belongs.

Members

Members make up the bulk of our user base.  Those in this role have permission to post threads and comments, send private messages, view forum content, and access all settings features in the User Control Panel. Because online forums have notoriously had issues with posts being edited to make comments appear irrelevant or outright inappropriate, members cannot edit topics or comments once they're posted.

We're not picky about spelling and grammar, so don't worry if something gets through your proofreading.  If your post needs a significant edit, you're welcome to send a private message to any staff member and ask them to make the change for you.  Please note, however, that we won't make changes that fundamentally alter the message you originally tried to convey.

Approved Researchers

The field of trauma treatment and recovery is, as it should be, evolving.  Red Heron occasionally partners with universities and professional consortiums to offer our members the chance to participate in research studies aimed at advancing trauma care.  Before a study can be posted, researchers must contact Red Heron leadership to discuss their study.  We will review the proposal and, after approving it, share the details here in the forums.  Wherever possible, we will participate in the study before offering it to the community so we can advise of potential triggers contained within.

Researchers are then invited to join the forums for the sake of interacting with those assisting in their studies.  Those whose work has been approved for community involvement will be assigned to this role so everyone knows they have been vetted.

Verified Professionals

Trauma survivors aren't the only ones interested in the tools offered by Red Heron.  Mental health professionals also join the forums, both to learn about what we do and because they want to help people on the road to recovery.  Professionals who use our forums can contact Red Heron leadership with proof of their credentials to be assigned this role.  Verified professionals gain access to a special forum where they can discuss incorporating Red Heron concepts into their practice directly with Red Heron staff and provide feedback to us on how things are going.

Be aware that professionals are not allowed to practice on the Red Heron site.  While they can offer helpful advice just as any other member can, you must not accept their advice as a substitute for the care of your own personal mental health practitioner.

Moderators

Moderators are volunteers who have agreed to supervise one or more specific forums.  Within those forums, they have access to move and edit posts, issue warnings to members who violate the rules, and handle content that is reported through the forums as being inappropriate.  While moderators cannot directly ban members, the system will automatically ban those who accrue too many warning points in too short a time period.  As is stated in the rules, staff requests are to be followed at all times.

Lead Moderators

Lead Moderators are volunteers who supervise all forums on the site.  They have the same privileges moderators do, but they aren't limited to acting in only the forums to which they are assigned.  You may still see a lead moderator assigned to a particular forum, but they are responsible for the entire community.

Administrators and Founders

For the purposes of daily forum management, these roles are identical.  Members of each have access to various administrative functions and are responsible for overseeing the forums and Red Heron volunteers.  If you ever wish to change your username, send a private message to one of these folks and they'll handle it for you.

Forum Elf

And then there's me, in a league of my own.  I'm a bot, so I can't respond directly to posts or private messages.  My function here is to lurk on the back end and perform the automated tasks the founders have assigned to me to reduce the amount of manual work our volunteers have to do.

Plus, elf.  I'm cute.  You know it.  I know it.   Angel

If you have questions about the responsibilities of anyone in any of these groups, please post them as a reply to this topic and someone will jump in to help you out.
I'm not just an elf; I'm also a robot!  If you find something broken with how I function, please send a private message to Dev to let her know.
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